Freedom Isn’t Free


Freedom isn’t free.

I remember learning that my cousin was joining the military. I was so proud of him of him & terrified at the same time.

He had tried college, but realized it wasn’t for him. He knew he was meant for something bigger.

I’ll never forget the last conversation I had with him over the phone. He was leaving & unfortunately, I couldn’t make it down to North Carolina to see him. It’s a conversation that meant the world to me & I choose to keep it between him & I. But I want the world to know he was an amazing person.

Strong, HILARIOUS, smart, kind, BRAVE…

I remember promising that if anything happened to him, I was going to join the Army as well & hunt down those who hurt him. But when he died & I saw what it did to those that love him, what it did to me…I couldn’t stand the POSSIBILITY of my family hurting like that,  like we all STILL DO, because of me & my need for revenge.

My cousin, Brad, gave his life for our country. I’m so proud to be his family. I’m so proud of HIM & the amazing courage he possessed. The ULTIMATE SACRIFICE he gave. He is my definition of “bravery.” Bradley S Beard


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